|Title||Recipient-side test questions|
|Tag(s)||classroom, Conversation Analysis, designedly incomplete utterances, epistemic stance, epistemic status, intellectual impairment, knowledge, organization, repair, sequences, support staff, talk, teachers, test questions|
Standard test questions allow the questioner to confirm an answer as correct, displaying their greater epistemic authority over the answerer (as in the canonical case of the classroom, where the teacher knows more than the pupil). But the instructional power of test questions may prompt their use even when that asymmetry is neutralized or reversed, and the recipient ought to know as much as, or indeed more than, the questioner. I describe how (and why) staff who support clients with intellectual impairment use what I call 'recipient-side' test questions, where the questioner claims final authority over matters in the recipient's experience, even though it is the recipient who has prior entitlement and access to it. When recipient-side test questions fail, questioners may revert to the standard test question asymmetry by hinting at, or openly asserting, their own epistemic authority.